Elderly man is left shaken by break-in

Police appeal
Police appeal

Crumlin councillor Thomas Burns has described as ‘despicable’ a break-in at the house of an elderly man in the village last week.

A man in his 80’s was left shaken after his house was broken into by burglars then ransacked while he slept last Thursday night.

Inspector John Allen said: “The back door of the house belonging to an elderly man was forced and a sum of cash taken from inside.

“The garage of the house was also rummaged through. Anyone who saw suspicious activity in the area at the time is asked to call police on the non-emergency number 101.

“I would also ask people to be mindful of home security and crime prevention as we the darker evenings draw in. There are a few simple crime prevention steps that we all can take to put opportunistic criminals on the back foot.

“Experience tells us that up to 40% of break-ins are the result of unlocked or open doors and window so a good place to start in preventing burglary is to make sure your home is secure. Close and lock all windows and doors at night or when you are leaving your home, even if it is only for a short time. It can only take minutes for a burglar to spot an opportunity.

“Do not leave keys in the front or back doors, even if the doors are locked. Burglars have been known to simply break glass in the door, reach in and turn the key to gain entry. Give consideration to installing an intruder alarm and security lighting.

“Another good tip is to keep your valuables stored away safely and never leave them where they can be seen through windows. It also makes sense to mark your property with your postcode using an indelible marker. It means that should you fall victim to a burglar your items will be more difficult for them to sell on.”

Inspector Allen concluded: “Being a good neighbour can also help protect homes in your area. Report any suspicious people or vehicles and where possible make a note of vehicle registrations if you are concerned.

Detectives can be contacted at Antrim Reactive and Organised Crime on 101. You can contact the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Mr Burns said, “This is totally shameful that anyone should target this man like that.

“This is nothing short of ridiculous. I am just thankful that the man did not get up when the burglars were still in the house.

He urged neighbours of the elderly to stay vigilant and report suspicious activity to the police.